Asia Pacific key growth area for American Express Business Travel

American Express Business Travel is contributing a strong half year of new wins up 33 per cent, and sales 36 higher year over year to June 2008 to growth from businesses in the Asia Pacific region.

The company said new clients or those that had extended agreements in the Asia Pacific region included Australia Post in Australia, Invensys in India, Emerson and Symantec in Singapore, and Kraft China.

“As a leading travel management company, our focus is to help companies optimise their travel spending – regardless of economic conditions,” GM and VP American Express Business Travel, Japan, Asia Pacific and Australia, Libby Roy said.

“We are pleased that in today’s environment, businesses from across industry sectors and geographies are turning to us to provide the technology, expert insight and customer service they need to generate cost savings and maximize their business travel investment.”

The company also reported an Advisory Services drive savings of $1 million for client’s year to date. The service is used by corporations to reap more benefits from travel budgets and the company said there was impressive growth in its use due to the current economic climate.

American Express Business Travel is expecting to continue its growth trend by appointing Jonas Borglin to the position of director, business development, Advisory Services, Japan, Asia Pacific and Australia. Mr Borglin will be based in Sydney after transferring from the company’s Sweden office.

“Many customers we work with have focused on how to travel smarter and implement strategies to drive savings so they can keep travellers on the road. It is in this type of environment that our Advisory Services offering becomes an even more valuable resource for our customers to take advantage of,” Libby Roy said.

“Quantifiable savings can be achieved on air, hotel and meetings spend through in-depth analysis of our extensive travel data repository, benchmarking, and the specialist vendor negotiation we undertake on behalf of customers.”

The company also announced plans to launch a business to business online networking community, for the corporate travel industry.

“The latest online innovation from American Express, will grant corporations and individual travel professionals access to the wealth of information and expertise of our organisation and members of the broader business travel industry, while asking them to supplement the site’s value by contributing their own experiences,” Libby Roy said.

“With the advent of new technology we’re witnessing the business travel industry moving toward online resources and automated services and our objective with this new interactive network is to continue to revolutionise the business travel experience.”

“We have had an online booking tool in Singapore since 2003 and there is strong demand from our customers in that market for an enhanced offering. To date the industry infrastructure hasn’t supported a fully online self service booking tool which is why we have created our own to give our customers access to the most relevant and accurate online content available. We expect this enhancement to double our online usage rates by the end of 2009.”

“In more mature markets such as Australia the majority of domestic bookings are now made online. Later on in the year we will be launching an enhanced online booking tool in India.”

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